Lee is Making Music Again Thanks to Hand Surgery That Repaired His Finger Fracture
Watch Lee Turner make music!
– Lee Turner
Dr. Steinberg’s Reputation Made It Easy for Dr. Koster to Come Home to Jacksonville for Shoulder Surgery
When you are unable to use either of your arms, it is the little things that haunt you. Kenneth Koster, M.D., a retired cardiothoracic surgeon, learned this during his recovery from a fall in which he sustained serious injury. “Simple activities assume gigantic proportion when you can’t move your arms. You ask yourself, ‘Is it worth the effort?’ Getting up out of a chair or trying to pick something up from the floor become monumental tasks.” Clearly, Dr. Koster is a man of great determination and self-discipline as is evidenced by his renowned medical career and multiple other interests of which he has been involved over the years. Upon retiring from a career in cardiothoracic surgery, he has had the good fortune to pursue his passion for painting. In fact, it was while leaving his art studio in Chicago that he fell, and in trying to catch himself, severely injured both of his upper extremities.
“I tripped and fell down a flight of stairs and ended up inverted on the floor. The early moments are a blur although I do remember making an assessment of what was working and what was not. I could move my right arm some, but the left arm was gone.” Through a series of events, Dr. Koster was evaluated and provided initial treatment by a specialist in orthopedic trauma in the Chicago area, but ultimately Dr. Koster decided to return to Jacksonville.
“My wife told me that I really needed to come home. I left Chicago not out of a lack of confidence in the people at Northwestern, but with a growing realization of how badly I was injured and the prospect of a long, long recovery.” He contacted Bruce Steinberg, M.D., specialist in upper extremities. “The fact that I knew Dr Steinberg's reputation made the decision to come home for treatment easy.” Dr. Koster continues to say that some physicians shy away from treating other doctors, especially very difficult cases. “I was a mess, but Dr. Steinberg did not blink. He was determined to do all that he could for me.”
Through examination and testing, Dr. Steinberg diagnosed Dr. Koster with a displaced, comminuted proximal humerus fracture of his left upper extremity and a distal biceps rupture with retraction of his right upper extremity. The required surgical repair was somewhat complicated because a month had passed since the accident. After much discussion of options, Dr. Steinberg, with Dr. Steven Crenshaw, performed both a left side repair of the proximal humerus fracture and a right side distal biceps repair.
Dr. Koster shares that the period immediately following his surgery was especially difficult due to his need for total reliance on others. During this time, his wife cared for his every need. “It was a low point, and it certainly put many things in perspective.” He knew, however, that his recovery was a matter of several components coming together: expert surgical skill applied to extreme injury, time for healing, and then, when his body was ready, a rigorous course of physical therapy, of which he would need to totally commit. About five months after his surgery, Dr. Koster realized that certain motions of his left arm during therapy “hurt beyond all others.” Dr. Steinberg determined that further surgical repair was required and thus Dr. Koster underwent a left shoulder removal of some of the hardware installed during the initial surgery.
While his recovery has been long, Dr. Koster is mindful that due to the extent of his injuries, this is not surprising. He has dedicated himself to a regimen of therapy, with occupational JOI physical therapist, in particular Christian Prado (MOTR-L), and also at home, where he has created a circuit of stretching bands. The combination of activities has helped his range of motion and strength. Dr. Koster is happy to report that recently he has noted “a real turn for the better” in terms of regained strength in his arms. “While I certainly have not enjoyed this experience, I do appreciate what I learned on a personal level. After my fall, I realized fairly quickly that expert medical care would be essential. Dr. Steinberg is a perfectionist who insists on doing things correctly. This has certainly been validated by my experience.”
– Dr. Kenneth Koster
Mary Selected Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Steinberg to Repair Her Wrist Injury
The instant Mary Ann Lewis fell, she knew that her right wrist was badly injured. “It was immediately apparent that something was very wrong. While the pain was not excruciating, it didn’t look good; it was deformed, like everything was out of place.” Fortunately, Mrs. Lewis thought clearly enough to use her left hand to stabilize the injured wrist. Her husband took her to the Emergency Room where she was put into a temporary cast. A week later, Mrs. Lewis saw Bruce Steinberg, M.D., for further assessment. “I was thrilled to get an appointment with him. A friend and her mother had both been patients of Dr. Steinberg, and they raved about the excellent care they received. I knew that if I had to have an operation on my wrist, I wanted Dr. Steinberg to be my surgeon.”
Dr. Steinberg determined that the fracture of the right distal radius was very severe and required a multi-faceted surgery. While Mrs. Lewis did not relish the idea of surgery, she knew she would be well-cared for. “Dr. Steinberg was compassionate and continuously expressed concern for my well-being.” She recounts that during preparation for her surgery, Dr. Steinberg asked if she would like to have the temporary cast removed prior to undergoing anesthesia. “I was so impressed that Dr. Steinberg gave me the option. He knew I was very frightened of moving my wrist at all, and I appreciated that what I wanted was important to him, as well.”
Physical therapy was critical to Mrs. Lewis’ recovery. “ I had to work hard but I was determined . I just wanted to get better so I knew I had to follow the therapist’s instructions to the letter.” At the first appointment following Mrs. Lewis’ surgery, Dr. Steinberg had the hand/upper extremity therapist participate in the meeting. Mrs. Lewis finds this extremely impressive. “I always felt like we were a team: Dr. Steinberg, my physical therapist and me. I knew that together, we were going to be successful. “
Mrs. Lewis notes that prior to her injury, she took for granted the ability to perform simple tasks. “You just don’t realize how important it is to have function of a hand until the time that you do not. Activities like fixing hair or applying make-up is extremely difficult and took much longer.” She continues to say that she would gladly recommend Dr. Steinberg to anyone. “He was compassionate; he was straight-forward, and I always felt that he wanted what was in my best interest.”
– Mary Ann Lewis
My Broken Elbow Was One of the Worst That Dr. Steinberg Has Seen
After 20 years in the military, Sergeant 1st Class Malcolm Bradford has served active duty in places like Iraq and Somalia. “As a soldier, I’ve seen everything you can possibly imagine”. So when his motorcycle slipped on some sand as he was rounding a curve one day, he didn’t think his injury was much more than a dislocated shoulder. “It’s true that the bike fell on my left arm and I couldn’t move it at all. But I’m an active person who’s tough and use to punishing my body. I guess at first it was just the adrenaline that kept me going.” However, it wasn’t long before Sgt. 1st Class Bradford learned that his injuries were much worse.
“Some kids saw the accident and called an ambulance; they were going to take me to one hospital, but I asked them to change their route and go to Baptist Medical Center, instead. I consider that decision to be one of the most important things I have ever done, because it led me to Dr. Steinberg.” Bruce Steinberg, M.D. is a specialist in upper extremities and was called in to evaluate Sgt. 1st Class Bradford’s injuries, which were extreme. He diagnosed Sgt. 1st Class Bradford with an elbow fracture dislocation as well as a comminuted wrist fracture. “I understand that my broken elbow was one of the worst that Dr. Steinberg has ever seen. It must have been bad because the surgery took 10 hours.” Dr. Steinberg performed a left side repair of his elbow fracture dislocation and his comminuted distal radius fracture as well as an anterior transposition of the ulnar nerve and an olecranon osteotomy.
It wasn’t until the day following his surgery that Sgt. 1st Class Bradford appreciated the full extent of his injuries. “Dr. Steinberg told me I was lucky I still have my arm. He showed me pictures from the surgery and how extensive a repair that was required. When I think about someone spending that much time to fix me up, I feel lucky. I was in the right place with the right doctor.”
Sgt. 1st Class Bradford’s recovery required several months of physical therapy with JOI Rehabilitation. He appreciates that the therapists pushed him in just the right manner. “We were a team, and had good fun together. They really helped me to achieve my full recovery. I still try to stop in and say hello when I get a chance.” Remarkably, Sgt. 1st Class Bradford is back to his prior level of activity. He rides a motorcycle, swims, sky dives, and for the first time since his accident, will go back to bow hunting soon. “To tell you the truth, I never thought I’d be able to go bow hunting anymore. But I’m able to pull the bow back at 50 lbs. of pressure. When I think about the fact that I could have just as easily been without a left arm, I feel doubly grateful to Dr. Steinberg.”
With no hesitation, Sgt. 1st Class Bradford gladly recommends Dr. Steinberg to any and everyone. “Another guy in my bike group took a fall. He had a minor injury to his little finger but did not see Dr. Steinberg. My friend has had a lot of problems and I tell him he should have listened to me.” While Sgt. 1st Class Bradford has had some on-going treatments related to his injury, he is grateful every day for Dr. Steinberg’s care. “I consider Dr. Steinberg to be a blessing in my life. I like to live my life to the fullest, and I certainly wouldn’t be able to do that without the use of both of my arms.”
– Sergeant 1st Class Malcolm Bradford